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Investigating Variation – The Effects of Social Organization and Social Setting - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Investigating Variation: The Effects of Social Organization and Social Setting

Nancy C. Dorian


Linguistic variation has been studied primarily in communities with the dominant social organization of our time: ethnic diversity, socioeconomic stratification, and a population size precluding community‐wide face‐to‐face interaction. In such communities literacy introduces extra‐community linguistic norms, and variation correlates with ethnicity and class. This study investigates variation in the ancestral language of a population with a very different social structure: small size, dense kinship ties, common occupation, absence of social stratification. Their Gaelic shows a high level of soc ... More

Keywords: variation, social organization, minority language, dialect mixture, accommodation, social homogeneity, theoretical assumptions, methodology, dialectology, descriptive linguistics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780195385939
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385939.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Nancy C. Dorian, author
Bryn Mawr College (retired)